Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 128

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 128 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

Despite his humiliating defeat a few weeks back, Urashiki wastes no time in setting his next scheme into motion in an eventful Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. After using a genjutsu to trick Naruto into sending the majority of the Leaf's forces on a wild goose chase, the crafty villain is easily able to infiltrate the Leaf. However, while it was assumed he would immediately make a beeline for Naruto and his Nine Tails' chakra, Urashiki instead opts to steal the recently-discovered relic that was introduced via background news reports last week. As it turns out, the relic is a creation of the Otsutsukis—a turtle that identifies itself as “Karasuki, a Noble Device.” Boruto and Sasuke (who still hasn't fully recovered from his last encounter with Urashiki) arrive just in time to find Urashiki activating Karasuki and opening a mysterious portal, into which they chase him. Following a brief skirmish with their target, Boruto and Sasuke find themselves flung back to the Leaf Village. However, after noticing Tsunade's, Kakashi's, and Naruto's absences on Hokage Rock, Sasuke surmises that this is actually the Hidden Leaf of the past.

While the episode primarily serves to pave the way for Boruto's time-bending adventures in the weeks ahead, it offers up enough fun character interactions, tension-building, and misdirects to make it a worthwhile installment in its own right. It's pretty clear from the offset that Urashiki is going to pull one over on our heroes, but it's interesting to see exactly how he goes about it. Additionally, while it was fairly obvious that Karasuki would act as the catalyst for the main story, the discovery of the device's true nature proves genuinely surprising. This is all helped by the fact that Boruto and Sasuke make for a fun pairing. An older, more mature Sasuke hanging out with his former rival's precocious offspring is always an entertaining dynamic, and in second-guessing Naruto right in front of Boruto, Sasuke scores even more “cool uncle” points this week.

On the negative end of the spectrum, credulity is strained by the strange lack of strategy and communication that pervades the Leaf's forces this week. When the Kaminarimon Company's new GPS/communication technology spots “Urashiki” on the outskirts of the village, no one stops to consider that this may be a trick, and the majority of on-hand shinobi are deployed almost instantly. Since Urashiki has proven himself crafty and strategically capable in the past, it's strange that such drastic action is taken with nary a second thought—especially with strategic thinkers like Shikamaru, Shikadai, and Tenten on the job. In the end, Boruto, a child, is the only one who's able to put two and two together and figure out Urashiki's interest in the relic.

In spite of a few forgivable shortcomings, episode 128 does a solid job of getting its main players to the past and paving the way for what looks to be an ambitious storyline. Sasuke may finally have a chance to see how his friends got along in the immediate aftermath of his defection. Furthermore, Boruto meeting a younger Naruto seems like a great vehicle for comedy and a prime opportunity for the younger Uzumaki to learn more about his father and the history of the Hidden Leaf, of which he's surprisingly ignorant. (The return of the parent series' preview music is also a nice touch.)

Rating:

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.


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